Heroes of Toolik: January 30, 2016 Union Hall

March 30, 2016

Heroes of Toolik
[photo by John Baumgartner]

Neil D. reports:

Placing Heroes of Toolik in the music pantheon is such a difficult task that it might be best just to list their collective past affiliations, as provided by the band’s website:

(Glenn Branca/Rhys Chatham’s Merry Band/Ben Neill’s Mainspring/John Myers’ Blastula/SEM Ensemble/New Music Consort/Virgil Moorefield Ensemble/Lounge Lizards/Arthur Russell/Television/Nona Hendryx/Gary Lucas/Washington Squares/New York Blues Project/The Waitresses/The Neon Boys/Uncle Bob NYC/ The Modern Lovers/David Johansen/Elliott Murphy/Arthur Russell (again)/Gary Lucas/Rhys Chatham (again)/Jenny Get Around/The Hillfillies)

If this brings to mind an unclassifiable collision of several flavors of avant-indie weirdness, that’s not a bad start. You can clearly hear a fair bit of Television influence — Billy Ficca’s distinctive drumming will have that effect on any band, though Arad Evans’ and Robert Poss’s guitar playing is in places sufficiently Verlaine/Lloydesque as well — but then there’s also Jennifer Coates’ only slightly country-inflected fiddle and vocals, and longtime Modern Lovers bassist Ernie Brooks, and trombone of all horns, here courtesy of John Speck. It’s actually kind of remarkable how straightforwardly tuneful it all sounds, at least compared to a baseline of, say, The Scene Is Now. Writing up their previous appearance on NYCtaper, Acidjack described the result as “a brand of well-informed rock n’ roll that draws on these influences without over-complicating itself,” and I have nothing to argue with there. (Except possibly the lack of a preceding apostrophe on “n’,” about which AJ and I are going to have to have a talk.)

This was the headlining set at Union Hall from the show where I also recorded Antietam, and was captured with the same recording setup. Big thanks to Evans for permission to record, and for his patience (and yours) for the delay in getting this posted. You can buy Heroes of Toolik’s recordings here, and also find out about upcoming gigs — none listed at the moment, but they have a new CD in the works, so stay tuned.

Download the complete show: [MP3/FLAC]

Stream the complete show:




Heroes of Toolik
Union Hall
Brooklyn, NY

Soundboard > Sony PCM-M10 > WAV (24/48) + Core Sound Low-Cost Binaural mics > Church Audio ugly battery box > Sony PCM-M10 > WAV (24/48) > Sound Studio (light EQ and mixing) > FLAC (16/44.1) > Tag > FLAC

Recorded and mastered by neil d

01 Bede
02 Something Like Night
03 Young Venus
04 Again
05 8 Mile
06 Aquarium School
07 Crazy Doll
08 Perfect

Support Heroes of Toolik by buying music from their website.

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One Response to Heroes of Toolik: January 30, 2016 Union Hall

  1. April 25, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    Thanks so much Neil. Here is a video shot that night, with your recording as the audio.
    –Arad Evans

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